Montreal Canadiens (37-29-12) at Tampa Bay Lightning (51–21–6)
The Canadiens avoided the series sweep winning the last game but back in the Sunshine State are major betting underdogs in Game 5. This Stanley Cup finals game can be seen on NBC.
Oddsmakers have the Lighting as a big home favorite in Game 5 posted at -215 with the Canadiens at 185 and a total sitting at 5 goals.
The Canadiens beat the Lighting 3-2 in OT in Game 5 and they finally played some defense. In the losing the previous three games they gave up 14 goals. However, there is hope for the team if they play good D again, as they have scored three goals in each of the last two games after only totaling one goal in each of the first two games of the series.
The Lightning can close out the series on home ice in Game 5 and the defending Stanley Cup champions have not lost two in a row in this season’s playoffs.
The Canadiens were 6-0 in six games as a road underdog before losing the first two games of this series in Tampa Bay where they were the big road dog.
Keep up the Defense
The Canadiens played good defense in the 3-2 OT win in Game 4 where they were outshot 34-21. They will have to do so again, or this series will be over.
In the last game Josh Anderson and Alexander Romanov scored in regulation and Anderson netted his second of the game 3:57 into the extra period.
Where the Canadiens really shined in Game 4 was power play defense where they did not give up one goal on Tampa’s five chances with the extra man.
Carey Price finally had a good game in the finals in Game 4 only allowing two goals on 34 shots after giving up 13 goals in the first three games.
Montreal’s attack has been decent in the last two games scoring three goals in each, but their D is vital, as they cannot keep up with the firepower that the Lighting have.
Back to the Attack
After three games with a solid attack the Lighting did not get the same output from that unit in Game 4 even though they had 13 more shots than Montreal.
Barclay Goodrow and Pat Maroon each scored in the losing effort in the last game. Brayden Point still leads all players in the playoffs but after scoring in nine straight in the post-season he has not lit the lamp in his last five games.
Tampa Bay had their chances in Game 4 with five power play chances but were 0 for 5. They have to take advantage of that in Game 5, as they have to come out firing at home and not let Montreal get confidence.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has given up three goals in each of the last two games of this series after only giving up two goals in his previous three starts. However, is in his last four home starts in the playoffs he has only allowed two goals.
The Lighting took their foot off the pedal in Game 4 and it looked if they had no sense of urgency, especially going 0/5 on the power play. However, they are back on home ice where they throttled the Canadiens in the first two games outscoring them 8-2. I look for the Canadiens to put up a fight but for Vasilevskiy to continue his solid play at home and for the Tampa attack to show up. Because of those things the Lighting will get the win and close out the series.
PICK: Lightning -215